Reviews elsewhere on the web:
Concatenation.org
John Marsden
Peter S. Williams
Crispin Tickell
Future Human Evolution Reviews
Neil Levy

Gregory Stock

Redesigning Humans

Many people feel uneasy with new genetic technologies, and in particular feel that human germline manipulation should not be allowed. In Redesigning Humans: Choosing our Children's Genes Gregory Stock sees this as too much of a knee-jerk reaction. He considers such germinal choice technology (GCT) as a continuation of the efforts parents have made to do the best for their children, and believes that such prospective parents won't be put off by laws based on some vague uneasiness. Some will find a way to get such technology, and then others will feel compelled to follow suit - or else face the consequence of having to explain to their children why they were born at a disadvantage.

Sometimes Stock seems to be saying the same thing over again - parent pressure will make GCT happen - rather than trying to go more deeply into the arguments for and against. Overall, however, the book provides an interesting account of the benefits, such as longer life or higher IQ, which GCT might bring, together with a look at the technologies which might make it happen - for instance an artificial chromosome, which could be removed or upgraded when the bearers decide to have children of their own. It's a book which will interest anyone concerned with the future of our species, and certainly it shows that those who think that GCT should be banned are going to have to come up with some much more persuasive arguments.

Amazon.com info
Hardcover 400 pages  
ISBN: 1861972423
Salesrank: 4843252
Weight:1.3 lbs
Published: 2002 Profile Books Ltd
Marketplace:New from $5.13:Used from $2.63
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Amazon.co.uk info
Hardcover 288 pages  
ISBN: 1861972423
Salesrank: 1925286
Weight:1.3 lbs
Published: 2002 Profile Books
Marketplace:New from £2.89:Used from £0.49
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Amazon.ca info
Hardcover 400 pages  
ISBN: 1861972423
Salesrank: 2288647
Weight:1.3 lbs
Published: 2002 Profile Books Ltd
Amazon price CDN$ 73.98
Marketplace:New from CDN$ 17.96:Used from CDN$ 2.96
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Product Description
A scientist at the cutting edge of germ line engineering (changing the genes of our descendants) shows how this technology is evolving so rapidly that it is becoming unstoppable - but it is also something that should be embraced rather than feared. All the research being done on changing our genes is to prevent the many genetic diseases that afflict people from Alzheimer's to common cancers. The gene technology for preventing these diseases also enables scientists to make people taller, to determine their eye colour, and soon, their intelligence. There is already a huge demand for these changes in the Far East. So genetic engineering is inevitable and coming soon. And there is nowhere to draw the boundary - should we ban it when it saves lives...when it prevents suffering? when children will be more cherished? There is no line to draw in the sand to say 'stop - no more of this amazing new medical science'. So, argues Gregory Stock, we should instead make sure that the science helps people achieve the best lives for their children - and to make the world a better place.